Secession Era Editorials Project
The Plan of Insurrection.
Charleston, South Carolina, Mercury [Democratic]
(1 November 59)
Although BROWN'S effort at an insurrection has been silly and abortive, the
developments are rapidly showing that a wide-spread scheme was maturing at the
North for insurrections throughout the South.
A carefully concocted plan is published in the New York
Herald, republished in the Richmond
Whig, and incorporated into the address of the Democratic
Committee of the City of New York in an address to the people of New York,
by which slavery was to be overthrown in the South with the aid of military
force from the North.
We forbear laying this scheme before our readers on account of its
incendiary nature, but we advise our readers to get it and read it for
It will give them a clearer insight into the true relations they occupy in
the Union, and the "priceless value" of its continuance to them, than any other
document which has yet seen the light.
It is no answer to say that the diabolical incendiaries who can in cold
blood get up such a scheme for our destruction, are comparatively few in
numbers in the North.
It is enough for us to know that, few or many, they have, by the
Constitution of the United States, the right to come among us -- to live among
us -- and in their good time carry out their purposes; and even if their
purposes should fail again and again, and scaffold after scaffold shall drip
with their gore, the elements of mischief and trouble may survive them, and
give new impulse to future adventurers and fanatics.
The great source of the evil is, that we are under one government with
these people -- that by the constitution they deem themselves responsible for
the institution of slavery, and, therefore, they seek to overthrow it.
They do not plot insurrections for Cuba or Brazil.
If we had a separate government of our own, the post office, all the
avenues of intercourse, the police and military of the country, would be under
our executive control.
Abolitionism would die out at the North, or its adherents would have to
operate in the South as foreign emissaries, in a country armed and prepared to
exclude their intercourse or arrest their designs, and punish their
As it is, the "irrepressible conflict" of SEWARD is destined to go on,
although it may be checked and suppressed by repeated failures, until one of
two thing shall take place -- the Union shall be dissolved, or slavery shall be
The experience of the last twenty-five years, of ignominous toleration and
concession by the South, with the lights of the present reflected on them, show
to the most bigoted Unionist that there is no peace for the South in the Union,
from the forbearance or respect of the North.
The South must control her own destinies or perish.
This document was produced as part of a document analysis project
by Lloyd Benson, Department of History, Furman University.
(Proofing info: Entered by Ben Barnhill, Proofed by Ryan Burgess.)
This electronic version may not be copied, or linked to, or otherwise used for commercial purposes, (including textbook or publication-related websites)
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